Wednesday, 22 December 2010

My thoughts on Lib Dem betrayal

(This was originally a comment to this article on CiF)

I'm getting tired of people using all encompassing statements about the Lib Dems betrayal.

So some MPs (not the party, the pledge was a single MP act across constituencies, which some MPs broke) broke their promise in voting for something that is a better solution than the possibly £12-14k fees the Tories may well have brought in. Tough situation that some all too black and white viewers can't understand.

Nor, clearly, do those people understand how the Lib Dem party policy machine works. You can claim that you can never trust the Lib Dems again, yet they're the only party I can look at (as a non-affiliated voter) and know precisely what policies they would aim to make real if they had controlling power.

So people are going to stop voting Lib Dem, maybe go to Labour or to a set of minority parties? Fine, it's your choice, but if you're doing it thinking you're going to get a better deal than the Lib Dem policy to scrap tuition fees for first degrees then you are, simply, a moron.

But on to other things...did the Lib Dems betray me and my vote? I dislike the tuition fee rise, but I'd have disliked a larger rise more, we also know Labour would have raised the cap.

They've also put in to motion the end of child detention, I don't feel betrayed there. They've scrapped ID cards, finally enacted the european ruling (that Labour dithered over) for giving at least some prisoners their right to vote back, they will be repealing more illiberal and authoritarian law, including the possibility of removal of control orders and 28 day detention without charge. I don't feel betrayed there either. A referendum on a voting system that will finally give people a complete voice in their constituency, not a hint of betrayal. The income tax allowance will be increased, no betrayal again. Trident renewal shelved, married couple tax breaks shelved, more ambitious green targets...all a far shout from feelings of betrayal.

The reality is that the Lib Dems are delivering on an awful lot of what they said they would, unfortunately the Tories are doing the same, we get the "best" of both worlds, but on some issues like Tuition fees those who voted for Lib Dems have not got it entirely as they'd wish.

Betrayed? Not even close.